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A Better World: The Brilliance Saga, Book 2 | [Marcus Sakey]

A Better World: The Brilliance Saga, Book 2

The brilliants changed everything.

Since 1980, 1% of the world has been born with gifts we'd only dreamed of. The ability to sense a person's most intimate secrets, or predict the stock market, or move virtually unseen. For thirty years the world has struggled with a growing divide between the exceptional...and the rest of us.

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Publisher's Summary

The brilliants changed everything.

Since 1980, 1% of the world has been born with gifts we'd only dreamed of. The ability to sense a person's most intimate secrets, or predict the stock market, or move virtually unseen. For thirty years the world has struggled with a growing divide between the exceptional...and the rest of us.

Now a terrorist network led by brilliants has crippled three cities. Supermarket shelves stand empty. 911 calls go unanswered. Fanatics are burning people alive.

Nick Cooper has always fought to make the world better for his children. As both a brilliant and an advisor to the president of the United States, he's against everything the terrorists represent. But as America slides toward a devastating civil war, Cooper is forced to play a game he dares not lose - because his opponents have their own vision of a better world.

And to reach it, they're willing to burn this one down.

From Marcus Sakey, "the master of the mindful page turner" (Gillian Flynn) and "one of our best storytellers" (Michael Connelly), Book Two of the Brilliance Saga is a relentless thrill ride that will change the way you look at your world - and the people around you.

©2014 Marcus Sakey. (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

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4.2 (246 )
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  •  
    AudioBookReviewer Madison, WI, United States 07-09-14
    AudioBookReviewer Madison, WI, United States 07-09-14 Member Since 2011

    All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Simply a solid continuation of a great idea"

    A Better World picks up shortly after the conclusion of Brilliance. Nick Cooper, a brilliant himself, worked for Equitable Services (under DAR) hunting down rouge or terrorist or unwanted abnorms. After taking down his boss and the President of the Untied States, after one of his charges, John Smith, enlightens Nick as to what is really going on. Now he has been asked by the new President, form Vice-President, to hunt down a new group of terrorists, The Children of Darwin. With no option to refuse.

    Simultaneously Shannon, Cooper's cohort from the last story is embarking on her own missions. Both stories converge eventually. Contrasting to the last audiobook, which had only one point of view to follow, here we have to follow three. Nick Cooper, Shannon and Ethan (normal person) a scientist who's story doesn't make sense until later on. This jumping back and forth kept me for being fully immersed like I was last time.

    The uniqueness that made Brilliance such an awesome story, and surrounded it with hype somewhere disappeared in A Better World. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this sequel, it just seemed more mainstream thriller with much of the action in the second half of the story. No real surprises or major plot twists. What kept me interested was the complexity of Cooper, he is the kind of guy that would be wearing a white hat in an old western. Good guy through and through, yet awesomely imperfect.

    Simply a solid continuation of a great idea, I cannot wait for the next one.

    Audiobook purchased by reviewer.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

    [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seana Albuquerque, NM, United States 06-25-14
    Seana Albuquerque, NM, United States 06-25-14 Member Since 2002

    I like Science Fiction, Post Apocalypse, mysteries, and good romance. If you can mix it all in together, I am one happy camper.

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    "Excellent Sci Fi story!"
    Where does A Better World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is in the top 25%. I really enjoyed this second book in the series.


    What did you like best about this story?

    There is not 1 best. It's a good story. It was written well and it had narration. I judge a story based on it sucking me in and not pissing me off. That did this well.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't wait until the next one comes out.

    After telling my husband about the series he points out that someone owe Stan Lee some money. I don't want to get into that. But if you the like the premise of x-men you will probably enjoy this series in general. Nobody wear costumes and the skills are not quite at super natural. But idea is there. I am also impressed with the political allegory.

    If you like political stories, this is also a story for you.

    If you like good writing. I recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Booms Walsh Madison, WI, United States 06-25-14
    Holly Booms Walsh Madison, WI, United States 06-25-14 Member Since 2011

    audiobook addict

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "non-stop thriller with a smart premise"

    This is an excellent followup to Brilliance, and even stands on its own as the author provides enough recap to bring a reader up to speed. Despite the fact that this book reads even more like a typical airport thriller in pacing and action, it may be even stronger than the first book was. The plot is unique and richly appropriate to discussion of terrorism and racial bias in the current world.The Brilliants' powers are scientifically possible and explainable - not superpowers that pull you out of the story in disbelief. The characters are fully fleshed out and complex. They seem believable and you have emotional responses to them. The action is fast and sometimes shocking. The language is tight, fast, and very smooth. The futuristic science and technology reads like something out of Wired - advances believably grown out of current technology. The author uses all the tricks to keep the story moving and to present a very human face on all the players in the story. The romance is restrained but feels real too - never 'love at first sight" or too overblown. This book is all about choices and their repercussions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Lafayette, LA, United States 09-26-14
    William Lafayette, LA, United States 09-26-14 Member Since 2012
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    "An excellent followup!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book because I enjoyed the premise of brilliants and how set I our old world view can doom us.


    Any additional comments?

    The scattering of commercials throughout the text was amusing. I also enjoyed how the story line illustrated that computer technology can easily be turned against us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Lancaster, PA, United States 09-15-14
    Steve Lancaster, PA, United States 09-15-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Grabs you and doesn't let go"

    This book starts out a little slow but very quickly builds up steam. It's a very simple premise: people trying to prevent a war despite the best efforts of foes with superior planning and resources.
    It's the lengths that they go to in order to save the day that make this a great story.
    Exciting and fun read, with a few things thrown in that will make your jaw drop.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolina Montreal, QC, Canada 09-09-14
    Carolina Montreal, QC, Canada 09-09-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I can only hope there is a third one of this saga!"

    Originally published at: A Girl that Likes Books

    First impression

    This is the second installment on the Brilliance Saga. I really enjoyed the first one (you can find my review here) and so it was a no brainer to get the second one. Sakey continues to tackle the subject of how society reacts to difference from the status quo, and since we were already introduce to the concept of brilliance, A Better World leans more towards the political part of the equation. How would science deal with a new phenomenon, how would the oppress minority counter react to such oppression, how would the government and the anti government institutions play their cards? All of these questions and more are discussed in this series and certainly with more depth in this second part. I can only hope there is a third one.

    Final thoughts

    First thing I have to commend from this book is how it tackles science. Sometimes books, particularly on science fiction, go into such an elaborated push of science or even worst, state things that are in no way possible; both situations are hard for me to digest, particularly when the deal with biology. I did not get that from this book. Every scientific explanation was well constructed and made sense in accordance with the world that was being built by the author, without being so overly complicated that would made me lose interest.

    Another thing that I really enjoyed was the multiple layers of every character. Every time I think I am starting to know the character and will be able to know what he/she is going to do another facet appears and it changes the result beautifully. They are very...human characters if you want, they are not all bad not all good. Characters that you were rooting for in the first book, you might want to slap them in this one and the other way around.
    And Sharon, she is a great character; she is a bad ass all the way through. The scenes of her commanding attacks, for example; she has an imposing, determined personality, but can also be very sweet and endearing at times.

    The rhythm of the book is good and I would say fast enough for an action book, without omitting details, or passing through them in a blur. Once again, enough detail to make it interesting, without making it into a dissertation. At times I will admit that I could do with a less description of people's intents through Nick's eyes, but at the same time, these scenes go so fast that they don't necessarily bother me, and it gives the book a movie feeling; I feel this would be a great series to make into a TV series or even a movie, and if I am not mistaken there is already talk of it happening.

    So with all this praise, why am I not giving it a full 5? There is still something missing but I haven't been able to pin point to what it is. At the end I get what I was expecting and it was very well delivered, but I can't say with certainty that I got more than that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    angelina spence Arizona 09-03-14
    angelina spence Arizona 09-03-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best books I have ever listened to!"
    If you could sum up A Better World in three words, what would they be?

    Fast Paced, exciting


    Any additional comments?

    This story was fast moving but not so much so that you felt that you didnt get to know the characters. Everything was well developed- I mean everything. The setting was descriptive, I knew all about the characters and the story was incredible. This was one that I could never tell what was about to happen. Incredible start to finish!

    And Luke daniels was amazing as always. Great narrator! Really exceptional all around!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miachi MD 09-02-14
    Miachi MD 09-02-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What you'd expect from the second in a trilogy"

    This book continued the fast pace action of the first, but without the bonus multiplier of novelty, its flaws were a little more apparent. For instance, the characters are all pretty flat and don't develop at all, and we only met a few new people. Some of the side characters only serve a plot purpose (e.g. Cooper's kids. There's no mention of their reactions to all the horrors they're seeing other than "the kids looked pale and held Natalie's hand.") Cooper's over the top macho-ism and boy scout tell the truth-ism got old quickly.

    All the same, the series is still very entertaining, and I will definitely buy the third audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 07-03-14
    Matthew SEATTLE, WA, United States 07-03-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    516
    ratings
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    94
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    "Continues the Brilliance saga..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Better World to be better than the print version?

    Didn't read the book version, but this is outstanding.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nick Cooper. Survivor and thoughtful ethical character.


    Have you listened to any of Luke Daniels’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, several, and this performance is outstanding.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The beginning of the battle is excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    This continues a fascinating journey by Sakey and Daniels. This is one of the most intriguing new series to come along in some time, and it is most certainly worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BookReader Chicago, IL, United States 06-27-14
    BookReader Chicago, IL, United States 06-27-14 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    131
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    "A Better World"
    Any additional comments?

    Drawn to this author due to an article in a Chicago newspaper. The setting of Chicago was naturally a draw, it’s my home town and where I live. I don’t usually review two books in one sweep, but these stories are connected. Brilliance begins with the premise that savants have used their ‘brilliance’ to take over and conquer a number of cultural icons, i.e., there is no more stock market, for example. The story progresses via an agent who believes in the necessity to eliminate gifted or brilliant people for perceived terrorism. He learns the evil of his ways and changes sides to protect his children and save the world.

    A Better World is a continuation of the story. The world has been saved, however there is still tension between the ‘normal’ and the ‘abnorm’ , abnorms being the ‘brilliants’. The new President of the United States elicits the assistance of our protagonist, Nate Cooper, and we’re off and running with a new mystery, i.e., Cooper chasing the bad guys in his effort to again save the world.

    Overall, the stories are fun listen. There are some areas of repetition that I personally found a bit annoying. The narration by Luke Daniels is nice, pace and tempo good. Daniels even does a good job with the female voice. Suggest starting with Brilliance, the first book in this SciFi series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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